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LudoNarraCon, GDC Scholarships, Spring Thing + More! (Narrative News May 2023)
Your narrative-focused monthly guide to the game industry.
Hello fellow narrative designers!
Thank you all for joining me in my first monthly roundup of narrative design news and resources.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you care a lot about the beautifully complex and fascinating world of game writing. Having worked in this field for a few years now, I’m right there with you.
But I also know how hard it is to get your foot in the door – and how hard it is to keep it there – so I’m sharing the resources, events, opportunities, and miscellaneous things I take note of when it comes to my career. I hope it helps!
Have a productive and luck-filled May and if you feel the imposter syndrome nipping at your heels, remember: you’re a writer if you write.
Conferences and Talks
LudoNarraCon starts today and runs through the 8th. This conference is a complete gem – so many fascinating free talks about narrative design all streaming on Steam. It’s just fabulous.
D&D Writing for Women+ with Amy Vorpahl is a free talk on May 13th from the generous people at Storytelling Collective.
Narrascope 2023 is happening June 9th to 11th at the University of Pittsburgh. Registration is open through May 26th.
The SF Bay Area IF Group’s monthly meetup is May 6th. I’ve been to this meetup before and it’s great fun! This is a hybrid event, but if you’d like to go in person you also get the delightful treat of visiting the MADE in Oakland, which houses playable exhibits like the Atari 800 XL above.
For New Yawkahs, Wonderville is hosting a monthly 2-hour game jam using Bitsy on May 13th, which is a great tool for making small, low-res adventure games. This is an in-person event. Also worth noting the monthly last Tuesday playtest event on May 30th – there’s no guarantee that there’ll be narrative-driven content, but there’s also no guarantee that there won’t be. This is an in-person meet.
Also for NYCers, GUMBO’s playtest night is the first Monday of every month – so you just missed it but keep an eye out for it in June! This is also in-person.
Jams + Competitions
The 2023 Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction is open for ribbon nominations until May 13, so go play some IF and make some noms! The results are announced as soon as it closes on the 13th, according to this calendar. Spotlighted above: an entry that takes place entirely in Google Forms… huh!? Love the creativity.
Submissions are now open for ParserComp 2023 and close June 30th.
The 3rd annual Text Adventure Literacy Jam has been open since April 11th and closes May 31st.
Also… Adventure Jam 2023 opens May 26th!
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list of job opps, just some that stood out to me!
If you’re not getting results from cold applying to places (I know how it is), you may want to consider more networking – either in-person if you’re in a big city, or online through things like GIG.
Programs & Residencies
IGDA-F’s Virtual Exchange and GDC programs are now open for applications and are an AMAZING resource for narrative designers who are still in school or just graduated, mid-career professionals, individuals doing a career transition into games, and HBU/HSI scholars.
You get mentorship, talks, game dev buddies, and potentially GDC sponsorship.
Look at the smiling people above! They made the program happen this past year, and they are great.
Under-explored resource for most of us digital artist types: art residencies!
Many specifically state they are open to those in digital media/electronic arts/storytelling etc. There are always a bunch so instead of listing them all, I’ll just direct you to this handy dandy link and also spotlight one that I think has potential.
This month it is: AIR - ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Lower Austria, which offers living and working opportunities for one to three months in Krems on the Danube (look how pretty!) for artists from the fields of building culture, visual arts, digital arts, literature and music.
Sasha Kudryavstev posted this wonderful collection of resources that helped her become a narrative designer. Very useful!
This is an old video but a certified goodie. It taught me more than most writing books I’ve ever picked up. Amazing how helpful seeing someone work can be.
Did I miss something? Let me know! Just reply to this email or tweet at me @rosebehar
Lastly, a big shout out to Emily Short’s website, which has singlehandedly provided direction to the IF community and particularly IF newbies for a long time. She’s just… really great.